Whirlpool UK fined £700,000 for death of worker

Whirlpool UK has been fined over the death of a self-employed contractor at its former Indesit factory in Yate, near Bristol.

The manufacturer was fined £700,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,466 after it pleaded guilty to breaching section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

In March 2015, the contractor had been working at a height of almost five metres from a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP) installing revised fire detection equipment.

During this work, Whirlpool UK maintenance workers began an overhead conveyor, unaware that the contractor was working nearby. The movement caused the MEWP to tip over and the 66-year-old man to fall to the factory floor. He later died from his injuries.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that there was no effective control or supervision in place to prevent the conflicting work tasks from being carried out at the same time.

HSE inspector Matt Tyler said: “This is a tragic case where the incident could have been prevented if the company had planned and controlled the work properly.”